2020 is almost over (thank god) and the silver lining is that 2021 is full of possibilities to create a more sustainable world. It’s encouraging to see so many people move to more eco-friendly lifestyle options this year, despite the circumstances, and reducing plastic is the #1 way people are actively taking steps towards a safe and cleaner environment. However, sometimes it’s hard to find the right brands and products to buy, so we’ve broken down some of the plastic-free must-swaps for the year ahead.
The fact that we’re only just realising how bad cotton ear buds are for the environment is absolutely crazy. To give you a bit of background, the innocent-looking cotton earbud that you use only once and then chuck is pretty awful for the environment and all just to scoop out a bit of earwax that one time! They contribute to ocean pollution, fossil fuel demand, land use, water use…
Ocean pollution, in particular, is no joke. 8 million metric tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every single year. To break it down, that's like dumping a full rubbish truck of plastic into the ocean every single minute. This is why earbuds are having their moment as the next great plastic swap. There are a few companies out there who have great plastic-free earbuds including: Last Object and Ocean Saver.
Someone recently told us “sponges are the new straws” and, boy, were they right. Did you know that there is so much microplastic in your standard kitchen sponge and microfibre cloth? Many of our everyday sponges (you know, those neon yellow/green ones?) are made from polyurethane, a petroleum-based ingredient. So, those innocent looking sponges on the side of your sink are actually made from virgin oil-based plastics, yuck! Not only that, many sponges are treated with triclosan (a pesticide) to make them anti-bacterial. That’s a lot of toxic and plastic waste going into incinerators and landfills. However, there are awesome natural and plastic-free alternatives to yucky plastic sponges and they are often made from loofah (a crazy cucumber shaped plant). You can grab some plastic-free and 100% compostable sponges by heading to our shop right here on Seep.
Plastic-free pet products
Did you know that there are 51 million pets in the UK? That’s a lot of furry friends and, subsequently, a lot of plastic waste. When you think of it, products like squeaky toys, treats, poo bags and even clothing and accessories are usually covered/filled with plastic. You obviously need to feed and entertain your animals, so finding plastic free alternatives will do wonders for the environment and eliminate unnecessary waste. For pet food in fully recyclable packaging, Lily’s Kitchen is your best bet. We also love the huge range of eco-friendly dog products at Beco Pets.
Oh the dreaded Nespresso pods! It’s a shame these became so popular, so quickly, without a thought for the waste they generate. And, while the likes of Nespresso have systems in place to collect and recycle the waste their pods generate, this still involves taking your used pods to a Nespresso store (assuming there’s even one nearby) or mailing them to a recycling partner. With all these extra steps, the likelihood of pods being widely recycled seems very low. However, there are alternatives in the form of compostable coffee pods, which eliminates a lot of those extra steps and can be thrown in your usual organic waste. Brands like Grind and Roar & Gill have brilliant compostable and plastic-free pods.
Cleaning sprays are being thrust into the limelight these days because of their plastic packaging. For years we have been presented with next to no plastic-free alternatives meaning our cleaning cupboards were swimming in plastic bottles. However, almost all at once, waterless and plastic-free products have arrived to save the day. Buying cleaning sprays in concentrates or even as dehydrated tablets can save a heap of plastic bottles ending up in landfill. With so many options out there now (even Amazon have their own version), it’s no longer viable for us to be forking out for a new bottle, and a bunch of not-needed water each time we buy a cleaning spray. We love all of the emerging players tackling the plastic-free spray revolution like Smol, Neat, Spruce and Homethings.
Deodorants and antiperspirants usually come in packaging that is either not recycled or completely non-recyclable, impacting the amount of rubbish sent to a landfill. Even worse, behind the fragrance we all know and love, there is a dark-side that is largely unnoticed. Most conventional deodorants contain the pesticide triclosan, formaldehyde, parabens, diethanolamine and aluminum, to name just a few. This is why plastic-free, and natural deodorant is becoming a huge talking point in the eco-friendly space. Our favourite brand for this, is the incredible Wild Refill. Not only are their scents natural (and beautiful) their packaging is gentle on the planet and refills are compostable.
Helping you with a plastic-free lifestyle
We know not everyone can be the perfect poster-person for a plastic-free lifestyle, but making just a few small changes will have a profound impact on the plastic waste our planet is churning out.
Here at Seep, we want to make sustainable swaps effortless. Shop our compostable and plastic-free cleaning tools now.